It was bad news, but not unexpected, for Iowa travel agents when major airlines announced this week they’re cutting out commissions for travel agents that sell the airlines’ tickets. It’ll be a price-increase for clients, instead of a blow to agents since they all knew it was coming, with commissions being reduced for five years now. Richard Powell is V-P at Shorts Travel in Waterloo.He says everyone regrets the airlines’ move, and he says travel agents now have to show people how the service fee they’ll have to charge will be well worth it. Powell says frequent travelers quickly learn the reason to use a travel agent instead of booking their own reservations. Being independent of any airline, hotel or car-rental firm, they can check them all to find what’s right for you. And that may not be just the lowest price, he explains, but the amenities and details you want. Right now, over 75-percent of all tickets sold are handled by travel agents, and Powell says they won’t disappear. He thinks there’ll always be a market for someone who helps you get there and save money. American Airlines and Continental this week joined Delta in cutting out entirely the commissions they’ll pay to travel agents who sell their tickets.
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